August 29, 2009

FAN EXPO COVERAGE: Day #1-- Modern Literary Monsters, Zombies, Midnight Monster Hop

The highlight of my night was attending the Modern Literary Monsters panel featuring Max Brooks (World War Z), Kim Paffenroth (Dying to Live: Life Sentence), and Kelly Armstrong (Bitten). Each panelist discussed his or her own work and monsters in general and how our perception of monsters (especially zombies) have changed throughout history. It was a lively, funny, and insightful panel in which the audience contributed thoughtful and fun questions. Rather than butcher the panelists' ideas, the panelists were gracious enough to give The Zed Word permission to record the panel. I will be offering the recording for download soon!

(L-R: moderator Monica S. Kuebler, Kim Paffenroth, Kelly Armstrong, Max Brooks)

Leaving the panel, I purchased a ticket to attend the premiere screening of George A. Romero's Survival of the Dead on September 12th as part of the Toronto International Film Festival's MIDNIGHT MADNESS program. Fittingly, after getting my Romero ticket, I encountered the first zombie of the convention -- patient zero, if you will -- shambling through the crowds, no doubt infecting others.

(Zombie Mark Foncesca smells my brain and makes a rush for my skull)

I fled behind a large black hearse until it was safe to come out. The hearse just so happened to be owned by one Gravely MacCabre (aka Ricky Dick), host of the Midnight Monster Hop and creator of haunted attractions. The Midnight Monster Hope airs, among other places, on the Retro Television Network and is helping to keep the dying genre of horror host creature features alive. We fell into a conversation about the show and his work in creating interactive Halloween adventure tours.

  • [Audio currently unavailable] Download my conversation with Gravely MacCabre (7:38)

So ends Day #1 of Fan Expo and the Festival of Fear. Day #2, Saturday, August 29th, is when the real hectic stuff begins. I'm going to try and get as many interviews as I can and help produce some videos for Horror in the Hammer.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Fan Expo 2009. You never know who I'll meet.